Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent (HE Compatible)

So I tried it. I made my own HE compatible liquid laundry detergent! Yea me! My husband laughed at me but he went out to buy the ingredients for me. I seen it on Pinterest (ugh! it’s an addiction), I didn’t pin it. Doh! So I just Googled it and this is what I found…

Ingredients: Super Washing Soda, Borax, Fels Naptha, & a 5 gallon bucket

Super Washing Soda, Borax, Fels Naptha, & a 5 Gallon Bucket!

What you need:

  • Cheese Grater
  • Large Sauce pan or Stock Pot
  • 1 bar of Fels Naptha* (usually in the laundry aisle at the grocery store)
  • 5 Gallon Bucket w/lid
  • 2 cups of Super Washing Soda
  • 2 cups of Borax
  • Essential Oils (optional)

*You can also use Zote, Kirk’s Castile Soap, or Ivory soap

Boil 8-10 cups of water in your pot

One bar of Fels Naptha grated into a pot of 8 cups of boiling water

I grated it directly into the boiling water, you can also grate it into a separate dish first and then add it to the boiling water.

Grate the bar of soap into the boiling water and let it completely dissolve (watch it because my heat was too high and it almost boiled over!)

Add the Super Washing Soda and Borax and stir until dissolved

Pour about a gallon of hot water into your bucket and add the hot soap mixture. Stir well.

Add more hot water to your bucket (make it about 3/4 full)

2 cups of Borax, 2 cups of Super Washing Soda added to the melted soap and more hot water

After adding all the ingredients to the bucket and stirring, this is what I had! Now it is time to put the lid on and wait…

If you want a certain smell to your laundry you can add some essential oils to give it a fragrance (About 20 drops, more or less depending on your preference).

Put the lid on and let it sit overnight.

The next day, it is ready to use.

The next day…your soap will be a watery gel (eww! kinda looks like a giant jelly fish in there). Stir it up and it’s ready to use!

Add 1/4 cup per load of laundry in your liquid detergent compartment.

Now who’s laughing hubby?! Me. All the way to the bank! It cost me less to buy all the ingredients including the bucket than it does for one bottle of store bought detergent (the only ingredient I will have to repurchase for next time is the bar of soap). I have enough for about 50 loads! Let’s get washing :)


After trying this, I wanted to update on how well it worked and how well I like it. Welp, it works. Your clothes smell great. I don’t know how much I like it though.

Unless you are some sort of super mixer, your soap will probably have some chunks in it. These chunks do not go through the soap dispenser of the washer (at least not in mine). You need to use this soap by throwing it directly into your laundry tub with the clothes. After a few loads using my new soap, I noticed some “soap chunks” on some of my clothing. Now I need to rewash those clothes. GRRR! Apparently this recipe is only successful in hot water. So between the hot water usage and rewashing of clothes, this recipe isn’t saving me money at all. BOO!

I plan on using up what I made and trying a “no melt” recipe next. Stay tuned!

Soap Chunks on my hoodie :(

Soap Chunks on my hoodie :(

UPDATE 2!!!!

I am finally fulfilling my promise by coming back with another recipe for HE Liquid Laundry Detergent and this one is SOOOO MUCH EASIER! No melting, no grating, no mess, and NO SOAP CHUNKS LEFT OVER ON MY CLOTHING! WOOHOO! This one can be used with warm or cold water and works great every time :) I have been using this one for at least the last 6 months now and I think it works great! See the post here: Easy Homemade HE Liquid Laundry Detergent